(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

Canadians who identify as visible minorities do not have the same access to investments and other sources of wealth as non-racialized people, suggests a new report on income inequality that looks at the financial impact of racism beyond jobs and wages.

“Employment income is the sole or main source of income for most Canadians, and labour market policies play a major role in improving or worsening income inequality,” says a newly published report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which looks at income inequality along racial lines.

“But labour markets are part of a broader political-economic context, where past and current policies have favoured some population groups over others,” says the report. “This history of wealth accumulation for some but not others is a crucial contributor to racialized economic inequality today.”

There is little Canadian data when it comes to examining wealth according to race, but Statistics Canada did include some details on income linked to net wealth — specifically, capital gains and income from investments — broken down by visible minority status in the 2016 Census.

The analysis in the report suggests a discrepancy between racialized Canadians, which is how the co-authors refer to those who identified in the 2016 Census as visible minorities, and non-racialized, or white, Canadians. The data on visible minorities does not include Indigenous Peoples.

Eight per cent of racialized Canadians over the age of 15 reported some capital gains in 2015, compared to about 12 per cent of non-racialized people. There was also a gap in the amounts, with racialized Canadians receiving, on average, $10,828 — 29 per cent below the average for white Canadians.

There was also gap when it came to money received through investments, such as rental income from real estate holdings or dividends from stocks.

The analysis shows about 25 per cent of racialized people earned income from investments in 2015, while nearly 31 per cent of non-racialized Canadians received money through investments that year. The average amount earned was $7,774 for racialized people, and $11,428 for white people.

Sheila Block, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives who co-authored the report, said looking at disparities in wealth, in addition to aspects of the labour market, sheds a new and multifaceted light on the issue of income inequality in Canada.

“When we broaden the lens to look at wealth, rather than just looking at income, it can give us a bigger picture of what the cumulative impact of racism is, both over an individual’s lifespan, but also potentially from one generation to the next,” said Block.

She wrote the report with Grace-Edward Galabuzi, an associate professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, and Ricardo Tranjan, a political economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Block said the data available in the United States shows the racialized gap when it comes to wealth is even greater than it is for income.

She hopes that Statistics Canada will consider including a question about visible minority status on its regular survey of financial security, which collects information from Canadians on the value of their assets and the money they owe on everything from mortgages to credit cards.

She said better data could lead to more equitable and effective anti-racism policies.

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men.

A closer look at these numbers suggests this is age-related, as the employment rate for racialized men between the ages of 55 and 64 was 5.9 percentage points higher than for non-racialized men at that age. Below the age of 55, non-racialized men had higher employment rates.

“This higher employment rate for older racialized men may reflect less access to pension income and lower lifetime earnings, i.e., many in this group may not be able to afford to retire,” says the report.

The report also examines the gender gap, concluding that race plays an important role in income inequality between men and women too.

According to the report, which used figures from the 2016 Census, racialized women earn 59 cents for every dollar earned by non-racialized men. Racialized men, meanwhile, earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts. The gap was narrowest, but not closed, between women, with racialized women earning 87 cents for every dollar earned by white women.

“I think it’s important that we look at the gender wage gaps, rather than the singular gender wage gap,” Block said.

ALSO READ: B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’ in Canada

ALSO READ: Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A power outage Thursday night left nearly 3,000 homes in Clinton and the 70 Mile areas in the dark. (Katie McCullough photo).
Updated: Clinton, 70 Mile left in the dark after vehicle crashes into transmission pole

BC Hydro still working to restore power to 330 homes in 70 Mile House

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Community consultation is now open regarding disposal of the former Ashcroft Elementary property, which since 2015 has operated as the Ashcroft HUB. (Photo credit: Vicci Weller)
Feedback now sought regarding disposal of Ashcroft Elementary

Residents of the region can have their say about the future of the former AES property

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read